Magnesium helps boost energy, reduce inflammation, and support immunity. Reach for the following foods containing magnesium to reduce your risk for a deficiency.
How Can I Raise My Magnesium Quickly Through Diet?
While your body absorbs between 30 and 40 percent you eat, magnesium deficiency may happen due to an underlying health condition, alcoholism, or certain medication, per the NIH. In fact, nearly two-thirds of the Western world doesn’t get the recommended daily intake of magnesium, according to a review.
Supplements are available over the counter at most supermarkets and pharmacies, but registered dietitians say it is preferable to eat whole foods containing magnesium naturally to prevent a magnesium deficiency. To get your magnesium fix, opt for foods with dietary fiber, including nuts, whole grains, and whole or dried fruits and veggies, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends.
Check out the following foods that supply magnesium (among other potential benefits!) to make sure your levels, and overall health, are optimal.
Dark Leafy Greens
Magnesium-rich foods include dark leafy greens, which play the role of the ultimate superfood, offering up crucial vitamins and minerals as well as a host of potential health benefits. Choose raw or cooked magnesium greens such as baby spinach, collard greens, kale, or Swiss chard. You can avoid a magnesium deficiency by stocking your body with dark leafy greens for very few calories. One cup of raw kale, for example, packs nearly 7 mg of magnesium, helping you inch toward your daily magnesium goal, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Nuts and Seeds
Only 1 ounce (oz) of dry roasted almonds contains 79 mg of magnesium, per the USDA, making them a good source. Other foods containing magnesium include cashews, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Combine your favorite magnesium-rich nuts and seeds in a healthy homemade trail mix — the perfect afternoon snack to keep your energy up and hunger levels down. Just remember that nuts are also a rich source of calories, per the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, so a little goes a long way, especially if you’re watching your waistline.
Fatty Fish Such As Salmon and Tuna
Add fish such as mackerel, salmon, halibut, and tuna to your menu to boost your magnesium intake, as well as vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish like salmon and albacore tuna) at least two times (two servings) a week. According to the USDA, a 3-oz filet of cooked farmed Atlantic salmon offers 25.5 mg of magnesium, helping you get closer to your daily magnesium goal.
Eating fish may also be a boon to mental health: A past review suggests there may be a link between high intakes of fish and a low incidence of mental health disorders such as depression.
Soybeans, Also Called Edamame
Soybeans are a magnesium-rich food that also offers fiber, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Snack on ½ cup serving of dry roasted soybeans — a rich source of energy (209 calories), magnesium (106 mg) and protein (20.2 g), according to estimates from the USDA — or add fresh soybeans (sometimes called edamame) to your shopping list. Other legumes containing magnesium include black beans and kidney beans, according to the NIH.
Avocados are a good source of magnesium, as well as being loaded with vitamins, heart-healthy nutrients, and disease-thwarting chemical compounds. Add half of an avocado to a salad or on top of whole-grain toast, and from the avo alone you’ll get 19.7 mg , per the USDA — which helps you get closer to your daily intake goal. Like nuts, avocados are also rich in healthy fats, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which makes them a concentrated source of calories. So if weight maintenance or loss is a personal goal of yours, be sure to keep portion size in mind when you’re enjoying this healthy delight.
Bananas may be best known for being rich in heart-healthy and bone-strengthening potassium, but a medium-size banana also provides 32 mg of magnesium, in addition to 10.3 mg of vitamin C (a good source) and 3 g (a good source) of fiber, according to the USDA. Aside from the aforementioned avocado, another magnesium-containing fruit to consider is apples. Per the USDA, a medium-size gala apple with the skin on provides some magnesium (8.6 mg) plus a bounty of other crucial nutrients, such as 4 g fiber and 1.7 mcg of vitamin A.
Dark chocolate can be a sweet way to get your fix. One oz, or about one square, of 70 to 85 percent dark chocolate provides 64.6 mg of magnesium, which is a good source, per data from the USDA. Furthermore, dark chocolate offers flavanols, which are a type of antioxidant that may help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and lower inflammation, according to a past study.
Nonfat or Lowfat Greek Yogurt
Nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt is a great source of magnesium: Expect roughly 18.7 mg in just one 6-oz container, according to the USDA. Greek yogurt is also high in protein (17.5 g). Past research suggests that high-protein meals can make you feel fuller longer, which may help you eat fewer calories overall, ultimately leading to weight loss. Pair yogurt with a fiber-rich fruit for an easy, healthy breakfast.
Whole grains such as brown rice are salubrious in more ways than one. For instance, they can help support healthy cholesterol levels, as the American Heart Association notes, and they can help keep you regular, per the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. One easy way to incorporate more whole grains into your diet is by swapping refined carbs such as white rice for complex sources such as brown rice. And, you guessed it, this food is also a source of magnesium. According to the USDA, one cup of cooked long-grain brown rice provides 78.8 mg of magnesium, making it a good source.